Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! (Is. 40:3 NLT)
Elizabethton, May 24, 2012, Volume I, Issue I
It is finally happening! After many years of praying and looking for a ministry that I can connect with, I have joined United Methodist Aviation Ministries as one of their pilots. I will serve with them in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Last March I flew there too look at their ministry and meet the people and quickly came to realize that the Lord wanted me there.
Once I got back to the States, the ministry, which is a part of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, sent me to missionary training with 23 other missionaries; they are serving in different ministries all over the world. On Sunday April 29, 2012, I got commissioned with the other missionaries in Tampa, Florida. It was a great service and the training connected me with many new friends and people that have a heart for missions.
During the training, my regional director and I started working on a plan for my transition to the Congo. The official language of the country is French, and while I was visiting the Congo I realized that the school French I had in junior high school would not be sufficient for my work in the Congo. So we decided that the first step would be language school in France, where I can be immersed in the language and hopefully learn the language quickly. The school is located in the city of Chambéry in the Rhône-Alpes region, in the eastern part of France just south of Geneva, Switzerland. In the beginning of June, I will start language study there for six months.
• Quick learning at language school
• Safe travel
• Good connections with people in France
• Easy adjustment to new environment
How You Can Help:
• Write or call (contact information below).
• Donate. Advance GCFA, P.O. Box 9068, GPO, New York, NY 10087-9068. Make your check payable to ADVANCE GCFA. Write my name (Markus Wolfmaier) and my Advance #3021464 on the memo line. Or give online through my website: wolfmaier.com.
• Email: email@example.com
• Skype: markus.wolfmaier
The second step is for me to build some relationships with Methodist churches in Europe and as well here in the States. From the beginning of January to February I will be traveling, meeting with people and different churches, where I will speak about the needs in the Congo and how the aviation ministry helps meet those needs. Afterward the plan is for me to travel back to the US, where I will be trained specifically for flying on the mission field by JAARS. JAARS is the technical branch of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Once that training is complete, I will head to the Congo and start serving there.
The city I will be based in for most of my time there is called Kananga and is located in the south central part of the Congo; the region is called Kasai-Occidental. It is just shy of a million inhabitants, but because of its location it is fairly isolated from the capital Kinshasa. The city does not have a reliable electrical grid; while I was there, the family I stayed with got electrical power every second night from about 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
There is no municipal water grid that functions, so you have to bring in water on your own, which also means there is no running water in the house I will be living in. I am blessed, however, that the house is located just across the street from a local water well, and I will not have to carry the water too far to get it home.
In my aviation ministry, I will help the local church by flying missionaries, ministers, and volunteer teams to local villages. I will also fly people from the villages to local hospitals, since medicine and hospitals are hard to get to. The roads in the Congo are in bad shape and make ground transportation a long and hard journey. At the moment, most of the supplies for the city of Kananga are flown in, just to give you an idea. Through flying, I can help the local church by making their travel easier and help them stay connected with other churches and their leadership. This way the gospel can be spread more efficiently, and His word can be spread around the country, without being hindered by the physical obstacles of the jungles and mountains in the country. This means a lot to me, because when I was called into mission, it felt like the Lord spoke to me through Isaiah 40:3-5:
Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The LORD has spoken!” (NIV)
Back then I did not realize I would fly, but now I believe that the airplane is my tool of clearing a way for the Lord through the jungles of the Congo--by simply flying over it. I am grateful for this opportunity and pray that I can really be an effective workman for the Lord.
I cannot thank all of you enough for your prayers; they mean a lot to me, and I ask that you will continue to pray with me as I continue on this journey. There are many ways you can help me, but prayer is the most important one.
Markus Wolfmaier, Advance #3021464